Hip Hop and Happiness

Did you have a hoppy Easter? I know. I’m so punny.

To be honest, I wish the weekend had been a little bit longer. I’m graduating from Texas A&M this spring, but I’m running on steam. It’s okay, though. The adrenaline of finals will hit me and help me kick it into overdrive for the final push.

But speaking of hop, I’ve been taking a Hip Hop class through A&M this spring. It’s one of those classes you’re required to take one semester to count as physical activity, but I take one every semester because I think they’re fun. Especially the random ones like Ballet (I thought it would make me more graceful, but I think I need some extra help in that department).

So naturally I would go from Ballet to Hip Hop, right? My family laughed when they heard this. They knew my classmates would be jealous of my dance moves, of course. Especially of my stank face.

If you don’t know what a stank face is, the best way I can think of to describe it is a facial expression you make when you’re trying to look intimidating or hardcore while you dance. Usually you’re frowning and your eyebrows are furrowed.

My stank face looks exactly like the Popeye cartoon. Somehow, God gave me some extra muscles in my face to contort it beyond the usual levels of expression that other people have. And looking like a cartoon is not very intimidating, so I usually burst out laughing, which is definitely not intimidating. But at least I’m having fun.

So in my Hip Hop class, I just skip the stank face phase and get right to the laughing phase (I mean, I do want my classmates to at least talk to me) and dance my little heart out. And I don’t really care if I’m any good or not, because I’m having a blast.

In middle school and the beginning of high school, I was extremely shy. When people I didn’t know very well talked to me, most of the time I would just laugh. Sometimes I even added in a word or two. Ironically, I was loud and talkative around my friends, and I’ve always loved being around people. But any type of performance in front of strangers was terrifying to me.

I got more outgoing later on in high school, but by the time I got to college, I realized I stopped caring if people thought I was weird. I finally felt free to be myself. I’m free to laugh and be carefree.

Don’t be afraid to try something new just because you’re scared of what others may think. Most of the people you interact with will not be in your life a few years later anyways. Don’t let that fear hold you back from living your life. Take that dance class. Sing in the car when you give people rides.  Take a deep breath, take a step forward, and embrace the excitement of being unapologetically yourself.


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